My Story, Part 1

April 26, 2017

Hi, hello, welcome! Since this blog has been severely neglected, I thought a nice introduction might be just the ticket. Changes are happening around here. And later this year I’m celebrating my fifth year as a business owner! I’d be lying if I said I can’t believe it has been that long. It has certainly been five long-ish years of hard work, gumption, growth, challenges, patience (which I am so not good at), but so much more joy than I could have imagined.

My story as a business owner really started when I met my husband, Andrew. He is from a small town in Western Kansas and I am from Overland Park, in Kansas City. When Andrew and I met, we were both students at K-State in Manhattan, Kansas (2 hours west of KC). I was 19 and had plans to be an event planner. During college, I racked up many internships, planning events large and small, and participated in our college’s event planning board, which arranged for concerts, community events, Friday night events and more for our University.

Image by Claire Ryser

Andrew comes from a long-time family business background. After he graduated, he went back to work for his family’s business for a year before he moved back to Manhattan to live closer to me until I graduated. Flash forward to the week of my college graduation. I had a new public relations degree, engagement ring and job offer in communications. Whirlwind of a week, I tell ‘ya! My then-fiance, Andrew, already had an IT/web design business established in our college town of Manhattan. Pre-Andrew, I had plans to move back to Kansas City and work in event planning. But with Andrew’s established business, we made the decision together that I would accept the position and stay in Manhattan. I worked in communications for 2 years, but at more times than I would like to admit a little bit unhappy at my desk job. The company, position and especially the people were wonderful. But I wasn’t being challenged, and I definitely wasn’t being creative. Which looking back, my brain, body and happiness thrive on creativity. What truly fueled me during those years was what I did in the evenings and weekends: lettering.

My work circa 2012. Progress is so sweet, friends!

Once we were engaged, my dormant obsession/hobby of hand lettering took full force. I ready calligraphy blogs (yes, I did! This was pre-Instagram), glued my eyes to Pinterest, and practiced my new found craft. I soon after started an Etsy shop with things like envelope calligraphy, tattoo designs (who knew?!), gift tags and more. Because why not? While Etsy was super popular, it also wasn’t quite as overloaded with calligraphy back in 2011. I DIY-ed all of the envelopes, signage, and special touches for our wedding. Looking back on my work then, I cringe-slash-laugh. Those pieces were kind of horrid, and I spelled assignments wrong on our seating chart (WHAT! This will forever haunt me), but they will forever be among the most special I will ever create. They were for our best day, and they lit a fire in me that hasn’t been put out since.

Image by Claire Ryser. My signage from our wedding circa 2012.

Andrew and I got married on a beautiful fall day in Kansas City in 2012. I was insane. I was worrying about the heaters, and the cake, and the flowers, and that bar signage I forgot to make (!) all on our wedding day. Because, as an aspiring wedding planner, I simply couldn’t hire a day-of coordinator. Oh, 23-year-old Lauren, how terribly wrong you were. The day was a whirlwind of pretty, with an outdoor dance, and my favorite piece of clothing I’ll ever own. And my favorite guy.

Image by Claire Ryser

The day after we returned home from our honeymoon, we drove about an hour to adopt up our sweet Wheatie Terrier, Bear. (Can you tell that when I have my heart set on something, I can’t not make it happen? It’s a blessing and a curse.)

Image by Wrenn Bird Photography

After returning from our honeymoon, when the high of planning our wedding settled down, I knew I had to make a change. Just a couple short weeks later, Andrew built my website and I officially launched my wedding planning business. Co-workers, acquaintances, even family and friends were apprehensive, but I really didn’t care. I started to get out there on social media, and started to get calls. There were no other wedding planners in this semi-small city at the time (again, what?!), so I was able to start sitting down with potential clients soon after. I told them (I kid you not – I said this!) that no one would work harder for them than I would. I really put it all out on the line. And work hard I did.

Stay tuned for Part 2!

 

Images by Wrenn Bird Photography

An Ode to BeautyCounter

September 30, 2016

 

Happy Friday! FIRST BLOG POST. (What, What?!) I’ve had this new website since oh, March, and have yet to post. Well, I’m here to tell you I’m excited to start blogging this fall and winter, when things are less chaotic than spring and summer!

On the blog you’ll come to find a little bit of my work, lifestyle, business, and overall more on this life of purpose and intention, illustrated with pen and ink, that I’m working to create.

Today, I’m excited to introduce you to my friend, Kelly! Kelly is the co-owner of With Grace & Gold (where I hand letter logos for their branding clients!), and blogger over at Kelly Zugay. Kelly and I have a lot in common, one of them being the pursuit of a pure lifestyle. Kelly is a vegan, and is a huge inspiration me in how she treats her body. From eating well, to exercise and the products she uses on her body, really look up to Kelly.

First, Kelly is so pretty. I mean, right?! Kelly recently became a BeautyCounter consultant, and lucky for me, I’ve always been curious to try their products. So this came at the perfect time!

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Tarah Elise Photography

I quickly wanted to share a bit on my experience. It was no surprise that I loved every single product I tried! Not to mention their packaging is beautiful. Which always makes such a difference to me. Visit Kelly’s Beauty Counter shop HERE.

  1. Charcoal Cleansing Bar | My fav BC product I have tried. I use on my body and face, and it just balances my skin so well, and makes it so soft. I have oily/combination skin. This is the perfect fit!
  2. Nourishing Day Cream | Another favorite. Who am I kidding? They were all my favorite. So smooth. So perfect.
  3. Nourishing Eye Cream | Never have I ever found an eye cream that works for me. As I get closer to 30, I know I need to start taking care of my delicate under eyes better. 😉 So smooth, light, yet the perfect amount of moisture and nourishment.
  4. Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer | Most days for me are light makeup days. This makeup fits the bill just right! I don’t even have to apply lotion under it some days (with my slightly oily skin). Not to mention we ALWAYS need SPF in our makeup, and I’m typically lacking in that area.
  5. Powder Brush | Just say yes to their super quality makeup brushes! I use this one to apply power, obviously. I also bought the flat complexion brush, which I use to apply face makeup (like the tinted moisturizer).

Make sure you visit Kelly’s BeautyCounter Shop today!

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BeautyCounter product images by Kelly Zugay

Welcome!

March 8, 2016

Thank you for being here, guys. I plan to blog regularly this year. It’s been a year since my last blog post on my old site (WHAT!). But I’m committed this time. I want to share! I plan to share tips on business, creatives, lettering, and some tidbits on what my life of intention and purpose looks like from here.

 

Thank you for being here!